home a safe place to land
 The Earth
lp cover Composed, arranged & conducted by Anita Kerr

Written & spoken by Rod McKuen


The Tender Earth My Mother Wanted Me To Play Mozart The Waltz Sunday Earthquake Capri In July Underground Train The Flower People The Mud Kids The Day They Built The Road Doorways I Haven't Found Home Song From The Earth.

FOR ANITA : There were no seagulls here today
warm winds have blown them off
to warmer sands,
to Spain or Greece where there are
rocks and all the coves are
plentiful with clams.

I lie by the sea and watch the giogoli
track the American ladies down the
beach, thinking all the while
of the earth.
Muir Woods redwood trees.
Green fields and sheep dogs.
Red poppies seen from
train windows.
Most of all our little earth
(the one we made together)
about to make its way into
the world without defence.
Populated only with each
other's thoughts and smiles.

You wouldn't like the beach today
the flags are all so tattered
the kites are all too few.

You'd be like me
wondering how I came to be here
not troubled but not happy.

God I hate this waste of time.
I should be chopping wood or
writing checks or fishing for
the cat's hot lunch.
I should be listening to your hands
moving in the darkness playing
Capri's theme or home in bed with
all those tired dreams I saved so
carefully for such days.
I could count the ceiling cracks
and feed the animals
their Cracker-jacks.

Trying to slow down is not so easy
when your thoughts still
hang on yesterday.

The bands play on in St. Mark's
Square what a pity you're not here
to dodge the pigeons and the violins.
Though they might disturb your
perfect pitch at least I wouldn't
be let down alone.

As it is I feel spent. Done
There are no more
words left to come.
I said what thoughts I
had to say inside.
I've spoken words to all your music.
Our songs singing in my head
make me restless all day long -
make anything more a useless effort
on this fifteenth day in June.

Did you feel the same
while riding home to California?
What were your thoughts
and secret wishes?

I'll tell you this -
You've earned the right to rest
awhile and occupy your time
with just the breakfast dishes.

Rod McKuen,   Lido Beach, Venice - June 1967

home   discography